TIME India

5 Arrested in India Over Alleged Rape, Kidnapping

Indian police say they have arrested five men in connection with the alleged rape and kidnapping of a Japanese woman.

The woman, who claims she was abducted for 12 days, told police a man pretending to be a tour guide led her from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) to Gaya district in Bihar, where she was raped by two men who held her at gunpoint, the New York Times reports.

Kolkata police official Pallab Kanti Ghosh said Saturday that the roles of two of the five men arrested still need to be confirmed, as well as the exact amount of time she was held captive during the incident, which is believed to have taken place some time after November 20, 2014.

Violence against women in India has drawn national more scrutiny and international attention in the last two years, the NYT wrote, following the horrific gang rape and murder of a woman on a Delhi bus in 2012.


TIME celebrities

Madonna Defends Altered Photos of MLK, Nelson Mandela

Instagram users called the altered photos promoting her upcoming album disrespectful

Madonna has stirred up controversy on Instagram for posting altered images of Nobel Peace Prize laureates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, along with others, to promote her upcoming album Rebel Heart.

This❤️#rebelheart fought for freedom!

A photo posted by Madonna (@madonna) on

This ❤️#rebelheart had a dream!

A photo posted by Madonna (@madonna) on

The photos depict the trailblazing leaders with the same kind of black ribbon that covers her face in the album art for Rebel Heart.

Various Instagram and Twitter users said the pictures of the civil rights icons were disrespectful. One user commented, “To lessen Mandela’s and Dr. King’s achievements as far as making their faces involuntarily a part of a marketing campaign for some irrelevant pop music is just a huge perception disorder,” PEOPLE reported.

The singer wrote on Instagram that these images were created by her fans to celebrate “freedom fighters”:

When I repost these images i am saying YES! These people are all Rebel Hearts in one way or another from Martin Luther King to Jesus to Nelson Mandela to John Lennon. YES! Lets celebrate them!

She pointed out that she had also shared images of Princess Diana and John Lennon.

Then in a Facebook post, she further clarified that she is not trying to compare herself to either revered figure:

I’m sorry
I’m not comparing my self to anyone

My fans aren’t racist either
If they put me in the same category as these other people
Thank you. I’m very flattered and I hope one day to live up to 1 100th of what those people accomplished.”

The album Rebel Heart is due out March 10, 2015.

TIME space

How to Watch the First Meteor Shower of 2015

A meteor streaks past stars during the annual Quadrantid meteor shower in Qingdao
A long exposure shows the 2014 Quadrantid meteor shower, as seen in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, Jan. 4, 2014. Reuters

Best view is Saturday night and early Sunday morning

Stargazers are preparing this weekend for the first meteor shower of 2015.

The Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to be most visible in the northern hemisphere around 9 p.m. ET Saturday night and then early Sunday morning.

“The reason the peak is so short is due to the shower’s thin stream of particles and the fact that the Earth crosses the stream at a perpendicular angle,” NASA explained.

Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, told NBC News that stargazers may only see 10-20 meteors per hour (in clear, dark skies) because of the moon’s glare.

Quadrantids are “caused by fragments of a comet that broke up in the recent past,” according to the International Meteor Organization. “Every year in the final days of December and the first two weeks of January the Earth crosses the stream of debris from the fragmented comet.”

The shower’s name comes from “Quadrans Muralis,” a constellation that does not exist anymore, discovered by French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795.

You can watch a livestream of the spectacle via the Slooh Community Observatory’s website.

TIME Crime

NYPD Chief Calls for Respect at Slain Officer’s Wake and Funeral

"A hero's funeral is about grieving, not grievance," Commissioner Bratton said in a department-wide memo

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton asked officers not to protest during services for slain officer Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn, ahead of the Saturday wake and Sunday funeral for Liu.

“A hero’s funeral is about grieving, not grievance,” Bratton wrote, in a department-wide memo. Liu and officer Rafael Ramos were shot and killed last month by Ismaaiyl Brinsley while sitting in a patrol car in the borough.

The police chief’s statement is a response to the footage of hundreds of officers who turned their backs at televisions broadcasting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s eulogy at the funeral for Ramos last week.

In contrast, when de Blasio and Bratton arrived at Liu’s wake Saturday at 1 p.m., the New York Times reports, a group of officers saluted both the mayor and the commissioner. De Blasio will also deliver a eulogy at Liu’s funeral Sunday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also attended Saturday’s wake and said it was time to “move to a phase of healing in this city.”

Police groups have said the gesture at Ramos’ service was a expression of some cops’ frustration with “anti-police atmosphere” they claim the mayor has promoted. Tensions between the mayor and the NYPD have grown in the wake of the Eric Garner grand jury decision.

Bratton’s memo also said, “I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honor and decency that go with it.”

FBI Director James Comey is expected to attend the funeral Sunday, and police officers nationwide are being flown in as well.


TIME Nigeria

40 Boys and Men Reportedly Abducted in Nigerian Village

Boko Haram
The leader of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram on Oct. 31, 2014. AP

Boko Haram is suspected to be responsible

Militants abducted as many as 40 boys and men from a village in northwest Nigeria this week in a raid that authorities have reportedly blamed on Boko Haram, the Islamist group that kidnapped over 250 school girls last year.

The victims, taken from the northeastern Nigerian village of Malari this week, are believed to be in their teens and early 20s, according to a witness, Reuters reports.

Boko Haram, which hasn’t yet claimed the latest abduction, has kidnapped hundreds of women and girls from northern Nigeria during its five-year insurgency. Fifty-seven of the 276 school girls kidnapped in April have escaped, while parents of the remaining victims recently appealed to the United Nations for help in the rescue efforts.

According to Reuters, “Boys are recruited as fighters and the girls as sex slaves, security officials say.”


Grand Canyon Looks Like a Winter Wonderland After Snowstorm

Grand Canyon New Years Snow
The Grand Canyon, blanketed in snow following a snowstorm, on New Year's Day. Michael Quinn—National Park Service

The picturesque scene is not expected to last long

A New Year’s snowstorm transformed the Grand Canyon’s South Rim into a picture-perfect winter wonderland.

According to a post on the Grand Canyon National Park’s Facebook page,

“It often snows on the North and South Rims during the winter. What is not so common is for it to be cold enough for the snow to reach the bottom of Grand Canyon.”

The park also wrote that it expected the snow to melt soon as dry weather sweeps in over the weekend and into next week.

TIME Music

Vinyl Sales Hit Record High in 2014

Getty Images

Paid downloads for albums and songs declined, while streams soared

Correction Appended: January 5, 2015:

Vinyl sales took a promising turn in 2014.

According to Nielsen SoundScan data out this week, vinyl records boasted 9.2 million in sales, up 52 percent from 2013—the highest numbers recorded on SoundScan since the music industry monitor started tracking them in 1991, the Wall Street Journal reports. Vinyl, however, still only accounted for six percent of album sales on the whole.

Paid downloads dropped 9 percent for albums and 12 percent for songs, while streaming services like Spotify boasted 164 billion song streams, a 54 percent increase from 2013.


Correction: The original version of this story misstated the number of vinyl records sold in 2014. According to Nielsen SoundScan, 9.2 million units were sold.

TIME society

Medical Students Now Watch Seinfeld to Learn About Psychiatric Disorders

From "The Junior Mint" episode, pictured: (upper left) Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer. Spike Nannarello/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank—Getty Images

An exercise called "Psy-feld"

Aspiring doctors now have an excuse to binge-watch Seinfeld.

At Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J., psychiatry professor Anthony Tobia is teaching third and fourth-year medical students in the hospital’s psychiatric rotation about psychiatric disorders through the hit TV show’s eccentric characters — an exercise dubbed “Psy-feld,” NJ.com reports.

The students are required to watch two repeat episodes of the show a week on TBS and come to class ready to discuss the psychopathology “demonstrated” in each one. As Tobia told NJ.com,

“When you get these friends together the dynamic is such that it literally creates a plot: Jerry’s obsessive compulsive traits combined with Kramer’s schizoid traits, with Elaine’s inability to forge meaningful relationships and with George being egocentric.”

It reminds us of the Seinfeld episode in which Kramer (Michael Richards) acted out the symptoms of gonorrhea so medical students could practice their diagnostic skills:

And that time the klutz was watching a surgery from the observation deck and accidentally dropped a Junior Mint into the patient’s abdominal cavity:

TIME viral

Watch a Woman Pull an Epic Snapchat Prank on Her Brother Over and Over Again

He falls for it every single time

Jillian Haker of Cleveland, Ohio, uploaded this YouTube video compilation of herself pranking her brother, in which he thinks he is posing for an adorable sibling Snapchat selfie, but she is actually recording a video instead. The clip has racked up more than 1.2 million views since it was uploaded on Dec. 31.

In the description of the video, Haker says, “I don’t think this trick will ever get old,” so we shall see if her brother keeps falling for it in the new year, and maybe look forward to a 2015 compilation.


TIME celebrity

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Kiss in New Balmain Ad Campaign

Will these photos "break the internet" too?

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian and rapper Kanye West were photographed embracing and posing for a kiss in a new ad campaign for haute couture brand Balmain’s spring/summer 2015 menswear collection. The fashion designer’s creative director Olivier Rousteing spread the word by posting a few Instagrams of the photos by Mario Sorrenti, and wrote “#itsallaboutlove” in the Instagram photo of the kiss.

As People StyleWatch points out, the star of E!‘s Keeping Up with the Kardashians, also wore a similar dress designed by Olivier Rousteing during her bachelorette party.

(h/t People StyleWatch)

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